Friday, November 2, 2012

Rubberizing Contacts - Part I

I have been saving my pennies for a while now with the goal of getting at least my dog walk and A-frame rubberized.  I looked into all sorts of rubbers and solutions, including having someone do it for me.

Well, in the interest of money, I decided to do the rubberizing (yep, it is really a word) myself.

My current contacts are steel with wood and sand coating (no slates).  The steel is still in great shape but I did want to get the decking replaced with something that wouldn't rot. 

After much research, google didn't produce much, actually looking at equipment was the best information, I found that most people put on an Aluminum Composite board (DiBond, Alumicore, e-Panel).  The board is used in the "real world" by sign makers so that was the best source.  If you buy it from the sign maker I found they marked it up 100%, so I finally tracked down a wholesaler who would sell it to my business. (

We found, as advertised, that the Dibond does cut with common wood-working tools.  We got a metal cutting blade for the jig saw, but other than that no other "special" equipment was used to make the cuts.
guide for cutting length of the board

guide and setup for cutting smaller boards

We marked our cuts with the chalk, secured a 2x4x8 as a guide onto the decking, and the cuts went very smoothly.  Just to be extra safe I sanded the cut edges with emery cloth to be sure that there was no metal shards left on the material.

The composite board comes with a protective plastic layer.  You will need to peel this off, at least on the side that you will be applying the rubber.

Next we drilled holes for the rivets.  You can apply the rivets on top of the rubber, but we choose to put them on before the rubber.  I think this is the easiest since it would be hard to keep track of the holes or cleanly drill holes after the rubber is applied.

Drilling holes

The last part of this particular board was to mix and apply the rubber.  I ordered my rubber from Circle S Agility.   Gary provided the entire kit of rubber, binder, gloves, great instructions, etc.. that I needed.